Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lily the Bear

Several weeks ago, I posted about Lily's den-watch up in northern Minnesota near Ely (pronounced E-lee). Lily was in labor and gave birth to a single cub. My daughter, her daughter and I were all following the events as they were shown on a video camera that was set up inside the bear's den. Lily soon had thousands of followers online.

The North American Bear Center sold a few Lily the Bear items on their website. Last week I got a package in the mail from my granddaughter. Inside was a very nice tan Lily T-Shirt for me.
When I told my daughter about it, she said she had ordered the very same shirt for me! We had a laugh over how we all think alike! (Only, I never ordered it for myself because I don't buy new things.)

They've had a contest to name the baby bear (a female) sponsored by a large grocery store chain. They received thousands of entries, the winner to get $500. It will be interesting to see what kind name they choose--will it be a Native American name, a cutesy name, an historical name or area name? We'll soon know. I didn't enter, but I would name the little black bear "Teddy". What name would you choose?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Smiling while I stew

I spent most of yesterday trying to get my aging Dell computer to behave itself. I bought it back in 2005 used and reconditioned from a computer store so I don't know how old it really is. But, it's acting like a crabby old lady--stubborn and slow.

I was trying to catch up with everyone else's blogs but the Dell would lock up. I plugged along working through several reboots and long time lags waiting for sites to open. Because of this, I never had time to post anything yesterday. It's becoming so time-consuming that I'm thinking maybe I will stop checking everyone's blogs everyday. Sadly, I'm at the point of having to choose between my getting my computer repaired, the water heater fixed or the big dent blocking the passenger side door on the car.

I recently noticed that the labels on my recent posts are "Rambling or Brooding" etc. It seems I really need an attitude adjustment. I do have happy things going on in my life, such as:

I just got a Facebook message from my 19-year-old granddaughter that she's getting all A's in her classes in Veterinary Technology. She is a dear, sweet girl but has always struggled in school. Her older sister and younger brother both did well in sports, academics and piano, but she didn't do well in any of those fields.

However, she's had a strong affinity for animals since she was little girl. She wanted to be a vet tech so bad that she volunteered for a year at a vet's clinic. The only problem with being a vet tech is that it doesn't pay very well and the program at Argosy is quite expensive. She struggled through a year of Community College until her parents figured out a plan to pay for school while her older sister is at St. Cate's University.

Now she is on top of the world! And that makes me feel really, really good!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Passing thoughts

This is such a pretty picture, I'm just posting it to share with you. (I think it might actually be a screensaver.) I've tried having aquariums several times in my life, but it can be time-consuming and bringing home three new fish, floating the bag for an hour and pouring in the acclimated fish to watch them fall dead to the bottom.

But enough about past problems...the water heater is failing, there's a big dent that still needs to be repaired in the car fender and now my computer is being contrary. I'm holding my breath on that one. My tax refund will never stretch that far.

So anyway, we went out shopping this afternoon at a consignment store called Turnstyle. They had lots of neat pictures and household goods as well as a clothing shop. But what caught my eye was a bumper sticker on a car outside the store. It said:

"Something wonderful is going to happen."

Even though I'm rather cynical by nature, I couldn't help but have my spirits lifted. But then I got to thinking, does that actually mean every person who saw it will have something wonderful happen? Or, is it that the bumper sticker definition of wonderful is geared toward a certain mindset? Or, is it that the wonderful thing is far in the future?

Oh well, it was great while it lasted!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today is Gracie Day!

One year ago today, we took in a scrawny, freezing little stray cat.

We had first seen it one November night in the vacant lot next door where we threw stale bread seasoned with lard and peanut butter for the birds and squirrels. The starving kitty was eating the bread voraciously. We didn't get a good look at it but assumed it was a feral tomcat.

Since we will feed any animal that comes past our door, we started putting food out every evening. The cat would slink onto the patio hugging the wall to stay out of our sight. If it caught a glimpse of us, it fled in terror. It took several months before it became accustomed to us handing the warm bowl of food out on the bitter cold nights.

By the end of January, it had tamed down enough that we could reach out to pet it. It was then that we could see how bad it looked. It's fur was matted all over with cockleburs. The tail was almost hairless from all the burrs it had pulled out. It slowly became more trusting and would touch even noses with our three very curious resident cats standing inside the patio door.

Then, on February 18th, the little cat showed up during the day for the first time. It was extremely cold and windy. I put out the warm food and the kitty gobbled it up. But then, it just stood there on the other side of the door looking up at us. Waiting. The moment had arrived--it clearly had decided it wanted a warm home. My housemate slid open the patio door and scooped the kitty up with a big gust of wind behind it and brought it inside. The patio door slid closed behind them and then we had four cats.

The poor thing was quite stressed and hid under a bed overnight. We left it alone to adapt to the smells and sounds of our house. Surprisingly, the other cats kept their distance as well. I kept sweet-talking the kitty as I had always done when putting out food to reassure it. By the next evening it came out into the living room where we were watching TV and the little darling went back and forth between us purring it's head off and loving us up! It was so heartwarming and rewarding!

We cut out most of the cockleburs and took it to the vet for a checkup. We were surprised to learn she was a spayed female of about two years and in good health. After treatment for fleas and worms (and a shave of additional cockleburs) she was officially Gracie, our new cat.

In the year since we she came to live with us, she has gone from 8 to 11 pounds. The scraggly coat she once had is now a beautiful puffball of luxurious fur.

I now own four of the loveliest fur coats around!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Wheels of Life

There's probably a female version of this illustration but it wouldn't be much different. I just get a kick out of progressions like this. They simplify complicated sequences to the bare minimum and yet retain the essence of the subject.

I admit to riding scooter carts at the grocery store on several occasions after hip surgery. This would seem to leave me one step away from the wheelchair. I had to skip the RV interval for economic reasons, but it would have been so great! I would have loved to travel all over the country to see what I was missing. I love Minnesota, but sometimes it seems like we're kinda sheltered here.

The only wheels I have now are on a ten-year-old Impala. It has a dent in the passenger-side fender so the door won't open. I've had it popped out several times but it keeps going back in.
The repair will be expensive so I can't even consider it until I get my tax refund.

So, when you stop to think about it, I guess it's money that greases the wheels of life.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Interesting facts

This morning's newspaper stated that 49 of the 50 states have snow. Satellite images show that 2/3 of the country is white! There are going to be some massive floods come Spring!

The US has more redheads than any other country in the world--estimated to be between 3 to 6% of the population. Worldwide, redheads account for only about 1 to 2% of the population and of those, only 25% have green eyes.

There were lots of redheaded kids in my class in school back in the 50's. We don't see many so redheads anymore. Is it because the gene for that color is recessive or what? Is it time to start worrying about redheads going extinct?

Well, that's enough stuff to worry about today. Tune in tomorrow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Funnies Friday

My daughter turned me on to the Pickles comic strip. She said it reminded her of my folks (her grandparents). I just enjoy the humor.

I caught a commercial the other day that made me laugh my head off. OK--this husband and wife are sitting in the front row of a lecture or church service. The man leans over and asks the woman in a whisper if she has any lip balm because his lips are dry. She reaches into her purse and pulls out a cosmetic bag that she silently hands to him. Without taking his eyes off the speaker, he reaches in, grabs a tube and proceeds to spread the stuff liberally over his lips. Then, he sits back contented with bright red lipstick smeared all over his mouth.

It was the funniest thing I've seen in ages! Now every time I see someone applying Chapstick, I think of the man with the lipstick and I chuckle.

Monday, February 8, 2010

On the same old topic

I have been trying to eat only healthful foods and stay away from my major downfall--carbs. So, what happens but a neighbor stops by with a loaf of cinnamon bread (delicious) and my daughter brings a big tray of nuts and dried fruits (really good). Every time I turn around somebody is seducing me into eating stuff I shouldn't. I have to keep a very tight grip on what foods are around because if I see I will eat it!

I'm know I'm pathetic (but I try to think of it as an "eating disorder").

So anyway, here is a quick and easy low-fat soup recipe that I make from time to time:

1 can fat-free refried beans
1 can fat-free broth
1 can diced tomatoes, any flavor
Combine in a saucepan over medium heat.

You can embellish the recipe with other canned veggies to make a heartier soup.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Feeling gimpy and grumpy

The worst thing about babying a gimpy right shoulder is that no housework gets done. I wouldn't sweat it except my youngest daughter and her husband are coming from out-of-town for a visit today. Said daughter is a neat-freak (and she sure didn't get it from me)! Now I'm stressing about getting the kitchen cleaned up and junk put away and my shoulder really hurts, darn it!

Whenever I'm suffering pain, I think about the options available to me--I can take some pills to help ease it, or I can get relief through my doctors even if it takes surgery. There are millions of people in 3rd world countries with no medical care at all. There are women like me who live their lives in unremitting pain that only gets worse. That's why I support Doctors Without Borders.

I may have to go get that cortisone injection whether I want to or not. Thank goodness I have your cheery and interesting blogs to brighten my day!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010